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15.2.06

New Anthropological Museum Soon to Open in Paris

Also on Ionarts:

Le Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris (February 8, 2006)

Musée d'Art Moderne Set to Reopen in Paris (February 24, 2005)

New Museum at the Quai Branly (December 28, 2004)

Leonardo and the Branly Museum (October 13, 2004)
I wrote recently about the reopening of the renovated modern art museum in Paris, which I am planning to blog about during my upcoming visit to France next month. A new museum that I have been keeping my eye on, the Musée du Quai Branly, will not quite be finished in time for my visit (the date announced is June 23). The collection of this new museum, eventually to be called the Musée des Arts Premiers (Museum of the First Arts), was supposed to combine the collections of two former institutions, the Musée national des arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, at the Porte Dorée, and the Ethnology Laboratory at the Musée de l'Homme. As I wrote here, the unusual architectural plan, by Jean Nouvel, for the building included the largest plant wall ever created. There will be a rooftop patio with a view, to the west, of the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro, and across from it, the Palais de Tokyo. I have a feeling that it is going to be fabuleux.

An article by Anne-Marie Romero (Le nouveau Musée de l'homme est en marche, February 14) in Le Figaro has the current state of things (my translation):
The Musée de l'Homme is waking up from the long, restless sleep in which it is has lingered since the announcement of the creation of the Musée du Quai Branly, in 1996, and the removal of its 600,000 ethnographic works, collected by the greatest names in the discipline, Paul Rivet, Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and so many others throughout the 20th century. [...] It has been announced that the Musée de l'Homme will survive and even undergo a renaissance in the Palais de Chaillot, because early this year an international architecture competition will be held for its renovation. This puts an end to years of uncertainty and anxiety for all those afraid to see it disappear, swept under by the wave of the Quai Branly. "This is a matter," specified the Minister of Higher Learning and Research [yes, you read that correctly], "of recreating, in this exalted space for the humane sciences, a grand «museum laboratory»."
The whole thing is extremely complicated, since there are so many collections and competing rivalries.

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